Prime Minister John Key says he does not agree with Labour leader David Shearer's suggestion of moving the New Year's Honours to Waitangi Day - a step he says would politicise the system.
Mr Shearer has used his visit to Waitangi to propose the move, saying it would help ensure Waitangi Day was a genuine day of celebration rather than protesting.
Mr Key said Honours were to recognise the achievement of individuals.
"If we move that to Waitangi Day, it will politicise the process and move the focus of attention completely away from those individuals to whatever grievance is the grievance du jour of that Waitangi Day. And I don't think that honours those people we are trying as fellow New Zealanders to honour for what they have achieved.
Mr Shearer said former Prime Minister Norman Kirk had made Waitangi Day a national holiday in 1974 "to give us a full sense of nationhood".
"We haven't lived up to that. It's become a day of jostling and protest and we focus on that rather than the great things about our country."